PNC Spinout To Raise $300M, Hold First Close Soon

Incline Partners, the LBO shop that was previously an affiliate of PNC, the Pittsburgh bank, is raising a fund with a $300 million target and will soon hold its first close, having reeled in about $100 million of its target, sister Web site peHUB has confirmed with multiple sources.

Sixpoint Partners, the bi-coastal placement agent, is working with the fund as it continues to bring limited partners on board. Incline did not lean heavily on its banking partner as an LP; PNC was a contributor of roughly a quarter of the capital in the group’s most recent $272 million 2007 Fund II and existing limited partners are expected to jump on board. (Some already have.) With PNC, the private equity firm also raised a 2001 $200 million Fund I.

IRR figures were not immediately available for the first fund. Incline Partners did not comment for this story.

According to the firm’s Web site, its first fund is nearly fully exited, but Fund II still remains wholly active. Incline Partners’s second fund invested in wine distributor The Country Vintner; lab testing and supplies companies Wheaton Industries, based in New Jersey, and South Carolina-based Environmental Express; repair and service provider Oracle Elevator; and laundry service Caldwell & Gregory and Revolution Dancewear, among others.

Incline Partners’s success so far is a positive sign for the slew of spun-out PE firms from other banks, including Key Bank (it spun out Key Principal Partners, which would become Cyprium Partners), Wachovia/Wells Fargo (Pamlico Capital, in North Carolina, was spun out), Bank of America/Merrill Lynch (Ridgemont Equity, which was wholly dependent on BofA as an LP, and North Cove Partners, from Merrill) and JPMorgan (CCMP Capital is will be out raising funds at some point in the next 12 months, Buyouts earlier reported). Each fund had varying levels of capital contributions from their limited partners and bank affiliates, and some tapped into deal flow as a result of their affiliation. Now, absent tent-pole LPs and proprietary access to M&A, it remains to be seen how some spun-out operations will fare independently.

(Jon Marino is editor of sister Web site peHUB)